The conclusions come from the study of 3,500 German school children and show that those who managed to climb from average math knowledge to nearly the top quartile did so by being motivated and employing effective learning techniques. Surprisingly, there didn’t seem to be a correlation between IQ and improvement in math skills. To identify what contributed to improvement in math the most, researchers led by Kou Murayama, a psychology researcher at the University of California Los Angeles, tested the IQ and level of knowledge of 3,500 school children from Bavaria in 5th and subsequently in 10th grade. Kids who started out with average math abilities but were in the top 10 percent in terms of learning strategies and motivation jumped up by about 13 percentage points over the course of the study in their math abilities, Murayama said.
Intrinsic motivations are goals chosen by the individual, perhaps because of curiosity or their personal interest or enjoyment of a subject. The opposite of intrinsic motivation, extrinsic motivation relies on factors outside of the individual. Behaviourism's position on motivation, like its position on everything, is that the environment is in control. Unlike in some other areas of life (computer games, riding a bike etc), in school it may not always be immediately obvious to a student if they are doing the right thing, so it becomes extremely important to help them know if they have done something impressive, and what that thing is.However, sadly praise is not always effective (just like any other form of reinforcement).
It is rare (though sadly not unheard of) for students in school to be lacking in the most basic needs such as food, security and safety. If you pay a child a dollar to read a book, as some schools have tried, you not only create an expectation that reading makes you money, you also run the risk of depriving the child for ever of the value of it.
Research currently under way in schools in the UK is looking at whether uncertain reward is effective in increasing student motivation and attainment.


Parents can help a child increase his or her motivation by creating incentives, building self-confidence, and encouraging a positive attitude.
Children who are intrinsically motivated in school are also likely to have positive emotional experiences and higher self-esteem (Oldfather, 2002). Book It and Accelerated Reader are two examples of programs that employ extrinsic motivation to encourage children to read. Yet, although IQ could be a good predictor of math success, it was a poor indicator when it came to improvement and progress. The children of parents who applied consistent pressure showed no significant improvement at all.
If it is not done well praise may actually decrease motivation!As with all behaviourist theories, this is deterministic. Think of the SMART targets that you create in school, or click on the picture to the left to see another example.
One other good idea for evaluating cognitive and behavioural theories of motivation is to contrast them to the humanistic approach.
They could disagree with the humanistic approach's position (see right) and argue that their model is more useful for increasing motivation in the real world, where people are regularly measured and tested.It also allows for students to track their own progress by measuring their own performance against their previous performance. A lot of drill and worksheet activities is not likely to raise struggling readers' sagging motivational levels.
Instead, improvement was most strongly linked with motivation, with those who made the biggest jumps over the course of 5 years also overwhelmingly scoring the highest on their motivation exam five years ago.


It is free, easy to do and requires no planning on the part of the teacher.Hugely influential - praise is used in schools (and other settings) all around the world, so the theory clearly has useful and important applications to the real world. Your questions should allow you to see clearly if they are more motivated by intrinsic or extrinsic forces (or a combination of both), as well as the specific things that they find most motivating.Bring the results of your questionnaire into class for dicscussion.
Without even looking below, you should be able to guess whether this would be an intrinsic or extrinsic theory of motivation! For example, this gives students no choice in the change of their behaviour or in their own motivation. Goal setting is now used very widely in schools and, if used effectively, has been shown to assist pupils' progress.Associating achievement with one's own competence and effort, not luckJust like the effective praise section above, it is important that students come to associate success with effort, rather than luck. WORK IT OUT NOW!Abraham Maslow proposed that human motivation relied on two sets of needs, which could be organised into a hierarchy. Behaviourists also believe that success is crucial to motivation, as success is just another example of a reinforcement!If you understand these links, what this means is that you will be able to use almost identical points in a Section B question.



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